Aug 6

The Windows Sidebar (called Windows Desktop Gadgets in Windows 7) can be a useful feature on your desktop. By default the Sidebar isn’t included in Windows Server 2008 R2, but using the following files taken from a clean Windows 7 x64 SP1 dvd you can have the Sidebar in your Server 2008 R2 Workstation too!

1. Download Windows Sidebar.7z (3,80MB) via Mirrorcreator or Windows (8,91MB) via Mirrorcreator.

2. Extract the .zip or the .7z using 7-Zip to a folder and run install(.cmd).
Extract archive and install Sidebar using install.cmd

3. Add Gadgets to your desktop by clicking the Gadget option when right-clicking your Desktop, via the Desktop Gadget Gallery link in the Start menu or the Desktop Gadgets option in the Control Panel!
Add Gadgets to your desktop!


Continue to install the Windows 7 Aero Cursors…

66 comments so far...

  • krpt Said on August 10th, 2009 at 8:42 pm:


    First, thanks for your hard job which is very welcomed.
    I’m currently running windows server 2008 R2 x64 with the “vista” sidebar.
    I tried to install the seven side bar with your script and i come
    with the following problem :

    I ran the install.cmd as “administrator” ..
    Any idea on why ?

    Thanks again mate.

    Arris: I expect you mean you are running Windows Server 2008 x64 (non-R2). I think the PE Format of executables for Windows Server 2008 R2 has been changed. The newer versions of Windows are backwards compatible with older PE versions, but not the other way around. You should install Windows Server 2008 R2 to get the new Sidebar working.

  • krpt Said on August 11th, 2009 at 9:35 am:

    Aouch, I’m such a dumb one..
    So apparently they changed the PE format, wow !
    Who said microsoft engineer didn’t worked :P, I’d be interested to know what kind of changes they made.
    Thanks for your answer.

  • Bix Said on September 4th, 2009 at 7:50 pm:

    I cannot get the windows 32bit sidebar to work on my x64 install. No errors or anything come up. Any ideas?

  • Zippy Said on September 18th, 2009 at 6:22 am:

    How can you get it to run on logon or startup autmoatically as it should ?

  • Windows Server (R2) 2008 Sidebar nutzen « Joerg´s IT-Tech Blog Said on September 26th, 2009 at 4:26 pm:

    […] über den Downloadlink als Zip oder 7z anklicken und […]

  • Brandon Said on September 28th, 2009 at 3:28 pm:

    thanks for your program…
    but, if, i want uninstall this program…
    how can i?
    i want completely clean with control panel & right mouse context menu.
    help me~

  • thomas Said on October 3rd, 2009 at 1:52 pm:

    hm, does not work properly on a german version.

    btw, why is there a x86 version included in every download? there is no R2 x86, so this doesn’t really make sense.

    or did i miss something?

    thnx anyway, nice site. :)

  • ebe Said on October 13th, 2009 at 3:56 pm:

    jeez.. thank you for posting the files, and don^t bother people who just shouldn’t try such things… (x86.. en-US.. this mean some things..)

  • Win 7 Sidebar verschwunden? - Die Hardware-Community f Said on November 5th, 2009 at 1:06 am:

    […] […]

  • hubertsvk Said on November 6th, 2009 at 10:15 pm:

    when i can run gadgets trought right click on desktop show me error appication not found from explorer.exe

  • Stefan Said on December 11th, 2009 at 10:42 am:

    I have the problem of hubertsvk too. Can be fixed by editing the registry and changing the “Program Files” into “Program Files (x86)” in the following 2 registry keys:


  • jim Said on December 21st, 2009 at 12:07 am:

    thanks Stefan!

  • David Said on December 23rd, 2009 at 2:46 am:

    I think you are missing this key :-


    I can’t figure out what starts the sidebar in Win 7 and holds a handle onto it to ensure it doesn’t close, must be something…

  • David Said on December 23rd, 2009 at 3:46 am:

    I created a shortcut under the Start menu ‘Startup’ folder in the end.

    Somehow on Win 7 explorer launches the sidebar process :-

    “C:Program FilesWindows Sidebarsidebar.exe” /stopHidingGadgets

    I’m not sure how it does this, using the startup menu is a work around.

  • Pedro Said on January 17th, 2010 at 3:35 am:

    My gadgets in W7 have normal size byt are small in Server 2008 R2. Why??

  • Ico Said on January 20th, 2010 at 12:34 am:

    My advice to anyone having problems at installing Sidebar: use Windows Vista sidebar, you can use it also in Windows 7 instead of Gadgets, and it’s included in application ServConvert12, made for first release of Windows 2008.

  • Miquet84 Said on March 6th, 2010 at 8:07 pm:

    I Have problemes too to install sidebar or cursors when running as administrator.
    But all works fine when i run theim on the Administrator session !!!

    If this info can help you, it’s make me happy.

    PS: excuse my english, i’m french with not a good english level.

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 act as Windows 7 | Mohamed Abdeen Blog Said on March 15th, 2010 at 10:02 pm:
  • wimperling Said on June 11th, 2010 at 6:07 am:

    I also had the problem with my 2008 r2 version complaining about needing admin permissions even though I had right clicked and “run as admin”. To fix this, I opened a command prompt with run as admin and ran the install from this and it ran with no problems.

  • Sam Said on June 24th, 2010 at 10:30 am:

    wow, its working..Thanks alot…cheers!!!

  • Constantine Said on August 4th, 2010 at 6:42 pm:

    To Run the Sidebar Install file

    Start > Right click on command prompt menu item > select “Run as Administrator”

    Change directory to location of installation files

    type in install.cmd and press enter

    c:cd Windows_Sidebar
    c:Windows_Sidebar>install.cmd presents:
    Windows 7 Sidebar installer for Windows Server 2008 R2
    By AsciiWolf –

    [+] Press any key to start the installation…
    [+] Copying x64 Sidebar to “C:Program FilesWindows Sidebar”…
    [+] Copying x86 Sidebar to “C:Program Files (x86)Windows Sidebar”…
    [+] Creating “Desktop Gadget Gallery” shortcut in the Start menu…
    [+] Registering Sidebar…
    [+] Windows 7 Sidebar installed successfully!
    [+] Press any key to exit the installer…


    No need to restart…. enjoy!

  • Michael Said on September 5th, 2010 at 6:55 am:

    Red X error:

    C:UsersMAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesContent.IE5WP80UWD6SystemMonitor27eng[1].gadget

    Unspecified Error
    Also same from another gadget:

  • SMK Said on September 15th, 2010 at 2:32 pm:


    still a great page but couldn’t you “rent” any commercial-financed free web server? Those delays when using the one click links are VERY annoying :-)


    Arris: Until some time ago someone “donated” an 100Mbit ftp-server to me for many months. He now stopped his webhosting company and so these nice direct links are gone… You can use for example CryptLoad or JDownloader to not having to wait for the timer to reach 0.

  • XenApp 6 med Windows 7 utseende | TUG Sweden Said on November 22nd, 2010 at 8:02 pm:

    […] Sidebar […]

  • Nick Said on November 24th, 2010 at 2:37 am:

    TNX for the sidebar info after installing all the moods net frame 4.0 and DIRECTX SDK and server 2008 service pack and installing desktop extras MY SERVER 2008 RUNNING ON HP CORE 2 CPU 64 WITH GE FORCE 8600 GTX Server 2008 standard looks way better then my windows MS 7 and the upgrades from Microsoft must be installed in proper order also graphics response time and display quality of all my graphics is fantastic and I am also running CS5 amazing best workstation ever
    Just need quad core
    http://www.i2rpower.usa=not on web will be in future

  • How To Get Windows 7 look and feel on Citrix XenApp 6 Said on December 8th, 2010 at 12:40 am:
  • Kronstein Said on February 19th, 2011 at 1:38 am:


    What about SP1 version of Sidebar?


    Arris: This is the SP1 version of the Windows 7 x64 RTM sidebar which works on both Windows Server 2008 R2 SP0 and SP1 :)

  • EBE Said on March 30th, 2011 at 3:39 pm:


    Any1 having prepared a SP1 version? Please.

    Arris: Sorry, I didn’t update the opening of the tutorial yet, however the download-link has been updated recently to the latest (SP1) version of the Sidebar. You can verify this by looking at the version numbers of the various files in the archive. :)

  • EBE Said on April 11th, 2011 at 9:11 am:

    Hi Arris, thank you for answering.
    Something went wrong I presume.. THe right-click shortcut doesn’t work, but the control panel does (it show the 32 bit version, running R2 SP1).
    Thank you again, best wish.

  • John Said on April 12th, 2011 at 3:55 pm:

    I have tried to install sidekick many times even with the latest download. I can get it to setup and download the files to the appropriate directories in the Program Files; but when it tries to setup the directories it keeps informing me that the EXE files are not valid win32 applications? Any help would be appreciated.


    Arris: Are you trying to install the Windows 7 Sidebar into the non-R2 version of Windows Server 2008? If that is the case, use this tutorial to install the Vista sidebar.

  • Ray Said on April 28th, 2011 at 3:39 pm:

    Worked perfectly, thank you!

  • Le Simon Said on May 6th, 2011 at 12:02 am:

    Everytime i login, a “Open file – Security Warning” dialog appears with choise of: Run or candel and it sucks to confirm it every time. Any ideas how to make it start without confirmation? (I’m using non-administrator user account)

    Arris: See the Troubleshooting section of the non-R2 SideBar page how to fix this. For any new installer I will create, I will add an extra line in the installation batch-file to remove the zone-information in order to prevent this annoying notification.(echo.>C:pathfile.exe:Zone.Identifier)

  • Le Simon Said on May 10th, 2011 at 5:07 pm:

    Thanks, it worked!

  • Gadgets für Windows 2008 R2 | Network planning, managing and support Said on May 13th, 2011 at 4:48 pm:

    […] Unter folgenden Link die Windows Sidebar (x86,amd64) herunterladen: […]

  • Anonymous caver Said on June 8th, 2011 at 6:40 pm:

    * The file hosters are blocked in our corp network, which shouldn’t be a rare occurrence.
    * The archive contains files owned by microsoft.
    * These files (ond only these) make the package language specific.
    * The rest – just the lnk and the scripts which *are* the essence of this trick – would be a mere 2.55k 7z’ed.

    Therefore it might be advisable to offer an alternate access route: Include the scripts in the page itself (the longest, the .reg file, could be compacted considerably: HKCR is a map that contains HKLM/Software/Classes, so writing the same stuff to both is redundant, and I’m sure the stuff written by regedt32 commands is repeated. The vbs scripts could be merged as well).

    Excluding the files subfolders and encouraging people to copy these from a w7 machine of the same architecture, language and sp level would make the installation universal, not to mention shifting the responsibility for proper licensing (and for virus prevention) to the users.

    That said, it worked flawlessly on a german sp1 w2k8r2ws (of course, with my own binaries) – kudos.

    Arris: Thanks for your comment! :) Most people like to have the files in the archive as they won’t have to grab them from an other Windows installation/dvd. It is indeed in a gray legal area to put Microsoft’s files in the archive, however this is much quicker than letting people download the Windows 7 trial dvd and let them extract the files from that .iso. Will take your localization suggestions in consideration while this is currently indeed a problem of the scripts. This will then be fixed if new scripts have to be created.

  • Patrick Said on June 21st, 2011 at 11:09 pm:

    Very awesome script!

    Thank you very much

  • voodoomsr Said on July 7th, 2011 at 8:31 am:

    Works perfect, thanks.

  • ddynamix Said on July 20th, 2011 at 2:00 pm:

    For some reason the links provided for the Windows 7 Theme, Sidebar, Bootscreen and Logon screen are all broken. Keeps displaying ‘Unable to load page…’ error in all 5 browsers. Tried accessing it from mobile phone and two other computers but no luck.

  • daniel Said on September 10th, 2011 at 7:48 am:

    Amazing. You rock.

  • Michael Spears Said on September 19th, 2011 at 7:11 am:

    Would you like an account on my cPanel server? I can donate an account with 80gb diskspace and 420gb bandwidth. The server is paid up for a year at this point. Send me an email if you’re interested.

  • Admin Said on November 7th, 2011 at 8:33 am:

    Спасибо!!! ПОМОГЛО!!!

  • Shaun Said on January 6th, 2012 at 7:02 pm:

    This no longer appears to be working. It gives me an access denied error message when i try to install this. Server 2008 R2, sp2.

    Arris: Are you running the installation using elevated rights (right click -> Run as Administrator) or have you disabled UAC? Usually these kind of messages originate from UAC.

  • Luis Said on February 12th, 2012 at 8:13 am:

    The link to download windows appears to be dead.

  • TwitchYarby Said on February 13th, 2012 at 12:46 am:

    Multiupload seems to be completely dead

  • Mike Said on February 13th, 2012 at 1:24 am:

    Please can reupload the link for the sidebar please!!!??? I need it


    Arris: Links fixed. Enjoy! 😉

  • » Gadgets de supervision de Stations/Serveur Microsoft Said on March 4th, 2012 at 10:22 am:

    […] va à Conky, pour mon parc de serveurs à Zabbix et je recherche un gadget complet pour la SideBar de mon portable équipé de Windows 2008 […]

  • EFE Said on March 5th, 2012 at 12:47 pm:


  • Taka Said on March 30th, 2012 at 5:15 am:

    A link is dead again. I upload it again
    Please do it

    Arris: Links still work fine, please try again.

  • goha Said on June 1st, 2012 at 11:50 am:

    Give a bat-file to remove

  • okay Said on June 25th, 2012 at 8:45 am:

    windows sidebar works on Server 2012 RC!!!

  • The things that are better left unspoken : Windows Gadgets and Windows Sidebar to Go Said on July 13th, 2012 at 10:49 am:

    […] Desktop Gadgets are unavailable, even with the Desktop Experience feature enabled. You could hack this functionality in your platform with the instructions on, but you haven’t walked that road, […]

  • dummekuehe Said on August 4th, 2012 at 6:50 am:

    i’d like to upload a version of this on mydigitallife with sidebar files updates to windows 8 release preview for installation under windows 8 RTM

  • vu dinh chi Said on September 8th, 2012 at 8:22 pm:

    hello, i want to uninstall Sidebar in win 8. Help me!

  • ali Said on November 23rd, 2012 at 3:59 pm:

    link is dead again :( please help. will it work for windows 8 pro?

  • Rob Said on November 30th, 2012 at 3:16 am:

    Hi Thank you immensely for solving this I really missed my Win 7 System Gadgets and Rainmeter just wasn’t cutting it for me.

  • musthaq ahamed Said on December 1st, 2012 at 5:29 am:

    thank you so much..

    i installed it in my windows 8 pro..

    it is working successfully.

    good job Mr Admin..

  • Built-in Start Button Alternatives for Windows 8 | HardWi®ed: [Refresh] Said on December 10th, 2012 at 6:37 am:

    […] feature was actually very addictive. Gadgets are disabled by default in Windows 8 (but there’s a work-around to that), and this feature solves this issue in presenting information at a […]

  • Andrey Said on December 12th, 2012 at 8:19 pm:

    Works on Windows 8 too!
    Great job!!!

  • 8User Said on December 17th, 2012 at 1:45 am:

    I try it on Windows 8 Pro with WMC X64 , but it dont work :(

  • Patrick Said on January 11th, 2013 at 12:26 am:

    Works perfectly on my SBS2011. Thanks a lot, very comfortable!

  • Wahaj Said on January 30th, 2013 at 7:43 am:

    Works like a charm.

    Thankyou vey much!

  • Rick Said on February 10th, 2013 at 7:15 am:

    Not a recommended mod! Microsoft has known about severe security problems with gadgets and they strongly suggest they be disabled. Microsoft has no plans to fix them and have pulled all downloadable gadgets from their site.

  • Jakub Said on February 20th, 2013 at 11:46 am:

    It works (just need to copy it into SYSTEM32 and run as admin)
    Thank you

  • Alesak Said on August 6th, 2013 at 9:33 am:

    Hallo, i have problem last time. Have error after win start, gadgeds stop working anad will close. I wanted uninstall and install again..but can´t find where uninstall….or has it some solution? thx a lot.

  • Bureau virtuel "Win7-like" sans VDA - VMnerds blog Said on November 28th, 2013 at 11:27 pm:

    […] poste Windows 7, je vous recommande où vous y retrouverez comment ajouter les gadgets, des curseurs […]

  • Tiago Said on June 24th, 2014 at 3:20 pm:

    Please, how to uninstall?

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